Experience has taught me that when looking for a decent place to eat, you want to find something that’s been around awhile.
If the sign outside says “Opened since 1973,” it’s probably good.
If it says “Serving our customers since 1923,” it’s probably even better.
So when I crashed through the doors of the Hiatt House in Livingston, Montana all ready to throw down a couple cold ones, I thought I was in for a treat.
The place screamed “dive bar.”
The building was obviously old and worn down. The lighting inside was bad. The floors were ripped up linoleum.
The bar top wasn’t wood, and it wasn’t granite either.
I think it was spray-painted particle board.
Not necessarily a bad start. In fact, all these things should signal a great start.
Restaurants and bars that don’t spend money on décor or ambiance usually offer really good food or really good times, or really good both.
But when I saw that there was only one tv in the joint—and it wasn’t even turned to sports—I thought, “Whoa. I could be wrong on this one.”
So I sat down at the bar and struck up convo with the bartender. I asked how long Hiatt House had been there. “Oh years and years,” he replied.
I thought, hey, maybe I was right about this one.
So I ordered a shot of Jim Beam and asked the bartender about the beer selection.
“Budweiser. Bud Light. Miller Light. Coors Light.”
Now some places in the United States, this would be normal. But Montana is in the northwest of the United States.
Walk into any gas station in this region and you’ll find a beer cooler with American puke beers—and three others devoted solely to micro-brews.
Not having a single craft beer on tap is unacceptable to say the least! But especially because Hiatt House is ONLY a bar. They don’t even serve food!
So I ordered a pint of Coors Light to go with my Beam.
When the bartender came back, he said “$9.50.”
That’s pretty steep for a beer and a shot at a dive bar.
Just a couple nights earlier I went to a much nicer bar across the street that carried a much better beer selection—and was much cheaper.
Nevertheless, I pulled out my debit card and asked to start a tab.
“We don’t take plastic. There’s an ATM over there if you don’t have cash.”
Crappy beer selection, lame decor, one tv, high prices, AND they don’t take plastic?
I looked around, and my answer was no.
I drained my beer, took my shot, paid and left.
So don’t ask me how they’ve stayed in business, because I don’t know.
Rating: Would Clean Grill With Free Shirt